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Steptoe & Son - Series One [1962] [DVD]

Harry H. Corbett , Wilfrid Brambell    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 4.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Steptoe & Son - Series One [1962] [DVD] + Steptoe & Son - Series Two [1963] [DVD] + Steptoe & Son - Series Three [1964] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Harry H. Corbett, Wilfrid Brambell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CH8XS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,008 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Fresh from their success with Tony Hancock, writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson originally planned Steptoe and Son as a one-off for the BBC’s Comedy Playhouse. It was quickly turned into a series, originally broadcast in 1962, and the six episodes here (including the Comedy Playhouse "pilot") contain all the classic ingredients that were to keep the show on British TV screens until 1974. Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell are the father and son rag and bone men, constantly bickering, constantly at each other’s throats. Corbett’s Harold harbours ridiculous bourgeois aspirations, hoping to impress the "birds" with asparagus soup or his wine cellar, which has been painstakingly collected by draining the dregs of empty bottles. But all his efforts at social improvement are in vain, thanks to the mean-spirited efforts of his father Albert, who glories in his son’s contemptuous "dirty old man" tag, and who is content with life exactly as it is in the cast-off paradise of their ramshackle junk-filled boneyard.

The show was groundbreaking at the time, depicting working-class people in light comedy instead of serious social drama as was the norm. It also differed significantly from Hancock’s Half Hour and other sitcoms, which featured comedians effectively playing themselves: Brambell and Corbett were real actors whose marvellous chemistry helped ensure the show’s longevity. In our modern throwaway culture, Steptoe and Son provides a window into a bygone era, when men with horses and carts routinely patrolled the streets recycling junk, without the need for government incentives or environmental pressure.

On the DVD: Steptoe and Son, Series 1 has six episodes on one disc. The black and white picture shows its age quite badly, and the mono sound is equally fuzzy in places. There are no extras, which is a shame, as Galton and Simpson could surely have provided an illuminating commentary track. --Mark Walker

Product Description

All six episodes from the first season of the classic comedy series in which a father and son run a junkyard business. In the pilot episode, 'The Offer', Harold (Harry H Corbett) returns home from work one day to reveal that he has had a lucrative business offer. In 'The Bird', Albert (Wilfrid Brambell) suspects that Harold is seeing a girl. In 'The Piano', Harold is hired to collect a piano from a large block of flats. 'The Economist' sees Harold planning to buy big after reading 'Economic Planning in a Capitalist Society', resulting in the purchase of 4000 sets of false teeth. In 'The Diploma', Harold quits the rag and bone trade in anticipation of the Channel Tunnel (apparently there will be a glut of foreigners ready to strip England of its junk), and takes a diploma as a TV repair man. Finally, in 'The Holiday', Harold wants to take a break on the Continent - rather than Mrs Clifford's in Bognor Regis.

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Godlike genius of Galton and Simpson 15 Sep 2004
At last a promise of Steptoe and Son series by series. This is the birth of the modern sit com. Actors playing the leads and as much to make you cry as to make you laugh. It's been said before but Steptoe is like Pinter with less pauses and more laughs. I love this programme more than any other ever made (and I was only 3 when the last episode was broadcast), it stings with the realities of life and somewhere in Peckham the birth cries of Del Boy can be heard.
We tend to think that that modern sit coms such as The Office are "out there" compared to the older ones, however Steptoe was the bravest sit com ever made from it's tone, language and the evil old Albert (making David Brent appear a cuddly teddy bear) to the choice of real actors rather than comedians. It's because of this that it still repays viewing today. Ignore the black and white, the mono sound, it doesn't matter, it's still the best British sitcom ever made.
Buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last ! and what a treat it is 23 May 2006
I got first acquainted `Steptoe and Son' when I was a young lad, farther would watch the videos and I would sit by, and also I would watch the repeats showed on the BBC. So I was very pleased when the Best of Steptoe 1 and! 2 were made available on DVD, until I realized that all the episodes on those two releases were basically just from the same series. What's the point in that! So I am relieved the BBC are finally doing something they should have done in the first place, releasing the show's DVD's seemingly one by one in series order.

Not used to the Black and white early episodes before this DVD I was very much intrigued, and pleasantly surprised. I was hooked from episode one `The Offer' I then watched the rest of the DVD straight through. What I got was just pure enjoyment and the feeling of respect bulging in my veins for writers `Galton and Simpson' comedy writers today should envy them and realize what genius is. Two men mainly in one room for 30 minutes, without flagging simply just rolling on with pure and fresh characterization, that's genius. Of course much credit lies with Corbet and Brambell who are impeccable, there's a lot of depth in the performances and I think that's something that could be overlooked. Yes it's a comedy of course, but it really is part tragedy and in this series it's more apparent than ever, Harold desperately trying to get away from he's current life, the sense of hopelessness when it always crumbles it really does tug at the heart strings. I was left feeling rather depressed at the end of some of the episodes, as it happens. A great opening series, slightly more vulnerable perhaps than future seasons. But the best possible start.

People who love Steptoe buy this DVD, people who want to indulge in a classic situation comedy, do please get involved. I thank you BBC for finally releasing it!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Dirty Old Man! 16 Nov 2004
I've got to say this is one of the best DVD's I have bought! It is the most sincere and hilarious sitcoms ever made. This had the fine line between comedy and tragedy sussed way before sitcoms like 'Only Fools & Horses' & 'Blackadder'. I'm so glad they're bringing them out as series. Before I bought this DVD I'd never seen any of the early episodes in black and white but they are the finest pieces of work I've seen in a long while. It's the sort of thing that could never look old fashioned because they looked old fashioned then.
The performances from Wilfred Brambell & Harry H Corbett are superb. As each episode goes on you feel more and more sorry for Harold and realise just how dirty and coniving his father, Albert, is. The relationship between these to characters never seems unrealistic and you can always understand why Harold can never leave the world he's trapped in by his father.
Aswell as great performances the script and plot are always brilliantly structured and just reinforces the status of Galton & Simpson as one of the best comedy writing duos on television.
The first episode alone, in my opinion, would be ground breaking stuff it was made nowadays. I've never known a sitcom to have a first episode that makes your heart go out to a character so soon. And right through to the last episode you'll be laughing and crying at this superb sitcom.
So I'd say buy this as it is one I could never get bored of. The picture quality is as good as possible but seriously when you get stuck in, like any good comedy, you forget it's black and white and you live it. So buy this and please BBC release the others!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST! 12 Jan 2007
Unfortunately Steptoe & Son doesn't seem to appeal to teenagers, but I am 17 and I must say that there's nothing more than I like on a Friday night then staying in and watching back-to-back episodes on a DVD.

I was delighted to see that every reviewer gave Steptoe & Son 5 stars. I was born into the age of technology with colour TV's and now widescreen TV's, surround sound etc. But I adore devouring the days of families huddled round a tiny black and white tv, and TV comedies such as Steptoe are such a rarity now. But an absolute English delight.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dmannock 3 Jun 2006
Greetings fellow Brits, I am ordering from Canada. I cannot get the NTSC version because there are none, so I have bought a region free DVD player and every so often I go over to a friends house and he & I, and a couple of others, sit and watch these Steptoe & Son series together. At the end of 31/2 hrs of continuous TV, we hurt from laughing so much! We are now on Series 3 and looking forward to 4 & 5. It may be that one or two of the episodes are not in crisp digitally pure form, but it is not the quality of the picture that draws people to these reissues, it is the memories of watching the series all those years ago on small B/W TVs, listening and watching the interaction between Father and Son in some small garrat. What surprised me is that after over 40 years, the humour and insight into the human condition is still there and is still relevant. While many other series have aged, the psychology of the Father and Son relationship in Steptoe & Son is still fresh and was captured so marvellously by the writers. There are no explosions, just sadness and humour as these two actors create what for me is one of the best pairings ever accomplished on TV anywhere. What is amazing is that the timing/cohesion between Harry H. Corbett and Wilfred Bramble is there from the very first pilot put out on the Comedy Play House included with the series 1 DVD. This would be just as funny with no picture at all! That is how well the series are written. The BBC obviously has a small budget for reissues of this kind. Few teenagers will want to watch this stuff and so the market is limited. All things considered, they are doing an amazing job of identifying what people want to see again and getting it out there. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic item well worth the price
Published 4 days ago by Rik Burek
5.0 out of 5 stars brill
i have yet to watch this but i am sure it will make me laugh as this is all how it began a brillant comedy series
Published 1 month ago by henryone
4.0 out of 5 stars The most famous Rag and Bone Men on TV
Steptoe and Son is a comedy classic focusing on two Rag and Bone men, Harold Steptoe and his father Albert and concentrates on the tension between the two and Harold desperation to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gatekeeper197
5.0 out of 5 stars Steptoe & Son Series One
A good DVD and even after all these years I find them so funny. I would recommend it to any one.
Published 8 months ago by Veronica Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Steptoe S1 DVD
Well I was so surprised at the top end quality of the picture and sound from such an old TV series
Published 12 months ago by Josh J
5.0 out of 5 stars still great 50 years on
comedy genius, the programme mightve aged but the comedy hasnt. my dads xmas present and he loved every minute of it
Published 20 months ago by Graham Wagstaff
5.0 out of 5 stars Steptoe & Son Series 1
This early television comedy show is hugely funny and original. A good value product and I certainly intend to purchase the subsequent series.
Published 23 months ago by R. G. Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars black & white heaven
This is the first time we met Albert & Harold Steptoe. Life on Oil Drum Lane is hard and they don't have much money but they do have each other. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2007 by E. Dale
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rag and Bone Men are real Princes
These two characters Harold and his dad are undoubtedly in my view, the very best of British humour, so different, I am glad the series came about, they had me in stitches through... Read more
Published on 1 May 2005 by "dj22car"
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